Issues of Optionality in Pitch Accent Placement

Leonardo Badino, Robert A.J. Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When comparing the prosodic realization of different English speakers reading the same text, a significant disagreement is usually found amongst the pitch accent patterns of the speakers. Assuming that such disagreement is due to a partial optionality of pitch accent placement, it has been recently proposed to evaluate pitch accent predictors by comparing them with multi-speaker reference data. In this paper we face the issue of pitch accent optionality at different levels. At first we propose a simple mathematical definition of intra-speaker optionality which allows us to introduce a function for evaluating pitch accent predictors which we show being more accurate and robust than those used in previous works. Subsequently we compare a pitch accent predictor trained on single speaker data with a predictor trained on multi-speaker data in order to point out the large overlapping between intra-speaker and inter-speaker optionality. Finally, we show our successful results in predicting intra-speaker optionality and we suggest how this achievement could be exploited to improve the performances of a unit selection text-to speech synthesis (TTS) system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. 6th ISCA Speech Synthesis Workshop
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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